Jaguar Axes XK Series in Favor of F-Type Agility and Performance

In a surprise move announced by Jaguar at the Geneva Motor Show this week, the luxury and performance car manufacturer revealed that it will be discontinuing production of its XK Coupe in model year 2015 in favor of focusing its energies on producing its F-Type sports cars.

Motor Authority informs us that the bevy of marketable categories touched on by the XK may ultimately have led to its downfall. The Jaguar XK is a larger 2+2 coupe that Jaguar has marketed both as a GT and as a performance sports car. That marketing classed the XK series into direct competition with BMW’s 6 Series and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. What’s more, the fact that Jaguar promoted the XK series as a sports car put it into direct competition with Jaguar’s own F-Type series. That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.

According to Motor Authority, Jaguar has seen a dramatic drop in sales of its XK series since the debut of the F-Type. In 2013, the auto manufacturer sold only 4,000 XK’s and its projections show a continued deterioration of XK sales as the F-Type continues to take precedence.

The fact that Jaguar is going to switch its focus from the XK to the F-Type is a surprise in itself, but it really begs the question: What do consumers find so attractive about the F-Type that they’re willing to forsake one of Jaguar’s mainstays (the XK has been in production since 1996)? The Marshfield News Herald answers this question for us in describing more about what the F-Type is, as opposed to what its larger brother, the XK, is not. The Marshfield News Herald tells us that the F-Type is essentially a return to Jaguar’s roots. It is a two-seater soft-top convertible sports car focused on agility, driver involvement, and performance. The F-Type is much smaller than the XK and comes with some available options that truly emphasize performance. Jaguar’s F-Type will be offered (in base models) with a 3.0L V6 which was developed from its 5.0L V8 engine or, if you want to dramatically boost its performance capabilities, the F-Type ‘S’ variants will offer a 5.0L V8 supercharged monster instead. We’ve also learned that Jaguar’s F-Type will feature its most advanced rigid and lightweight aluminum architecture to date.

For those of you already nostalgic for Jaguar to make a re-commitment to the XK series, don’t lose heart. Motor Authority tells us that Jaguar has said a replacement for the XK series is not out of the question, but any reincarnation of the XK would likely focus more on luxury than performance. The performance category will now be dominated by the F-Type.

For more on Jaguar’s latest triumphs this week, see The Inquisitr, Jaguar places near tops in JD Powers and Associates survey on consumer quality.